In 2012, LeRoy and Barbara's youngest son, Dave, purchased the restaurant from them. Finally, now in their mid-sixties and after fifty years of flipping steaks and pouring drinks, they retired. Sadly, late in 2012 and only months after finally retiring, LeRoy said goodbye to us. He died while hunting on the Platte River just west of town. He loved hunting and fishing. In his memory, a scholarship was started at North Bend Central Jr/Sr High School to reward kids who achieve academic success while maintaining part-time employment.
In 2013, to honor LeRoy, we renamed the restaurant in his name, LEROY's Steakhouse.
Barb and LeRoy Bird pose for a picture just before retirement in 2012.
LEROY's Steakhouse was founded by LeRoy and Barbara Bird as the Rawhide Steakhouse in 1978. LeRoy worked as the head chef and Barbara worked as the bartender from 1978 until 2003 and then 2005 until 2012. They sold the restaurant in 2003 and then repurchased it in 2005. Prior to opening the Rawhide Steakhouse, Leroy worked as a chef for other famous Nebraska steakhouses such as Farmer Brown's Steakhouse in Waterloo and Gorat's Steakhouse in Omaha, among others. In 1968, while working at Gorat's, he fell in love with a young hostess named Barbara. Ten years and seven kids later, they relocated to North Bend to start out on their own.